The FOREVER WILD RHINO PROTECTION INITIATIVE was developed in response to the rhino poaching crisis and primarily provides logistical and operational support for conservation and law enforcement agencies responsible for rhino security. It is also involved in raising public awareness of the rhino poaching crisis (such as information boards, displays, leaflets, radio and media campaigns). Other activities include the coordination of anti-poaching training, aerial assistance, vehicle support, intelligence gathering and specialist support, rhino syndicate investigations, as well as a Rhino survivor fund, Rhino DNA and tracking device project and a rhino survivor research project in the Kruger National Park.
The WILDLIFE OPERATIONS GROUP is a multi-agency partnership whose overarching objective is the reduction in the incidence of and the successful prosecution of wildlife related crime. This is achieved through a multi-disciplinary approach which includes: research and development; training; support investigation and operational activities. Through the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative, the Wildlife Operations Group operates a Rhino Anti-poaching tip off line where members of the public are encouraged to supply information that could lead to successful arrest and prosecution of those involved in poaching.
COLLECTIVE IMPACT IS NEEDED TO SAVE WILD NATURE
Immediate action undertaken by all sectors of society is needed to halt the biodiversity crisis and preserve the living infrastructure of our planet. But collaboration and coordination on such a large-scale is no small task. While some institutions focus on the broad swath of – or very specific – environmental issues, the World Wilderness Congress is the only international process and forum that recognizes wild nature for what it is: the provider of all life-supporting, ecological services upon which humans utterly depend – and keeps it at the center of the debate and the crafting of solutions. It does this by convening leaders from across sectors – business, academia, government, traditional communities, and the arts – to forge a multi-year conservation agenda, setting and coordinating international action, and making collective gains for a wild Earth and a healthy human society.
In conjunction with China’s emerging policy to forge an “Eco-civilization,” WFG and its partners, EcoForum Global and the Paulson Institute, are organizing the next World Wilderness Congress (WILD11) in China to strengthen international collaboration with Chinese officials, and create a conservation movement that harnesses the combined power of an East-West movement to preserve our planet’s wilderness.
WILD11 will take place over 8 days, first in Kunming, the capital of the Yunnan Province (one of the planet's major centers of bio-cultural diversity), and then in Beijing, the national capital. WFG is currently seeking leaders from all sectors of society to be involved and help inspire and craft pragmatic solutions for the benefit of people and wilderness.
The MALI ELEPHANT PROJECT (MEP) empowers poor, local communities in Central Mali (West Africa) to protect the unique herd of 500+ desert-adapted elephants that conduct the longest annual elephant migration ever recorded, through the vast reaches of the Sahel in an area the size of Switzerland. MEP is war-tested, having withstood the 2012-13 Tuareg rebellion and Jihadist invasion. It produces practical outcomes of anti-poaching, community security, and local employment, while significantly reducing human disease and legally enabling local people to control all their own natural resources, including wildlife, water, wood, soil, and grazing.
Vietnamese pop star Thanh Bui has been instrumental in the planning and execution of the Demand Reduction campaign in Vietnam and has subsequently become an official and very passionate Ambassador for the Wilderness Foundation Global's Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative.
Through the success of the Wild Rhino Competition, the Wilderness Foundation Global realised that a more permanent presence in Vietnam is required to implement selected interventions that will form part of the Foundation’s broader Demand Reduction Campaign. In partnership with Thanh Bui, the Wilderness Foundation Global has opened a Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative project office in Vietnam, based at Soul Music Academy.
MARINE WILDERNESS 10+10 is a partnership project that brings a new solution to the severe decline of marine life. The first deployment of a “marine wilderness conservation strategy” is in the California Current, along the west coast of North America from Canada to Baja California, Mexico, and thence to 20 global locations over 10 years. Working with collectives of local communities, scientists, media persons, and policymakers, this strategy drives measurable and lasting change by using internationally- defined marine wilderness values and stewardship objectives as the basis for stakeholder engagement, commitment, and action to protect all marine life.
The UMZI WETHU model is a one year, social development and intervention programme for displaced and socially vulnerable youth (those who have lost one or both parents, are child headed households or live in households with no formal income). It draws on opportunities presented by gaps in various sectors including the hospitality and eco-tourism industry in South Africa, training junior chefs and waitrons, as well as field guides and field rangers. As part of our Vulnerable Youth programme, Umzi Wethu seeks to deliver holistic skills development and education interventions that harness the healing power of nature, equipping vulnerable youth to be economically active and environmentally responsible citizens.
Wilderness Foundation Europe's flagship social programme has produced results for over six years. It focuses on society’s most vulnerable youth: aged 16 – 21 years with little education or job training. TurnAround addresses complex personal/social issues through wilderness therapy, tough love, straight talking, outdoor facilitation, mentoring by committed staff and trained community volunteers, and support towards employment or studies. The 18 month programme – with investment of just £7000 per young person – has an 86% success rate of participants moving forward into further education, training, or employment. Without intervention, most of these young people would likely fall into crime and otherwise be a social burden, costing tax payers up to £100,000 annually.The programme has changed the most vulnerable into strong and independent young adults, citizens and parents.
This Leadership Programme works specifically with a diverse range of young women aged over 16 years, with successful programmes in South Africa, England and Northern Ireland. It stimulates personal development, leadership, self-confidence, ethics and values, environmental awareness, and social and employment skills. The program also has proven and positive impact on the wider communities in which Wild Swans live. Graduates are responsible for training other women and setting up volunteer networks to continue to support each other as they build their lives, find employment, and/or create families. A six monthly programme of workshops custom-designed around the needs of the individual groups costs £1000 per participant.